Even if you’re heading off on a cruise from the UK, where the chances of your cases going walkabout are mercifully slim, you’ll still want to have some essentials handy in your carry-on for that no-mans-land time when your luggage is taking the long way around to your cabin.
Don’t be tempted to saunter onboard with just a tiny shoulder bag and a carefree shrug.
Make sure you stuff that tote with the following for a stress-free start to your cruise…
Boarding pass, check!
Insurance documents, check!
Make sure that you have all your essential travel paperwork easily to hand for when it’s needed on embarkation (you’d be amazed at the number of people that pack their passport in their suitcase then have to wait to have it retrieved so they can check in!) but whatever you do don’t get excited when your cabin’s ready or distracted by cocktails with sparkly stirrers and leave it all on a sun lounger by the side of the pool!
Swimwear and Sandals
Despite not having yet left port it’ll be business as usual onboard, which means the pools and Jacuzzi’s will all be open to use.
Not much good if you’re in jeans and t-shirt though!
A swimsuit and pair of flip-flops will take up next to no room in your carry-on and will mean that you can take full advantage of the pool areas being less busy than usual whilst everyone else waits for their cases to be delivered…. Suckers!
Don’t risk expensive spillages in your suitcase!
If the complimentary in-cabin shower gels and shampoos aren’t up to your exacting standards, make sure you pack your posh stuff in your carry-on.
Although all care is taken with suitcases, opening it up to find that your brand new £70 bottle of body lotion has leaked all over your formal night frocks and tuxedo’s won’t get your cruise off to a good start.
Stepping onto your cruise ship will always make you feel like a VIP so make sure you look like one too with the biggest pair of shades you can find.
Even if you are still in Southampton (or Dover)!
A Capsule Wardrobe
It’s very rare for a suitcase to go missing once onboard a cruise ship but stranger things happen at sea (pun intended – sorry).
Carry on the tiniest capsule wardrobe and at least you’ll have something to wear if there are any delays or mishaps.
If there are any medicines you need to take then it goes without saying that you should keep them with you; particularly if they’re are meds you might need in an emergency (like an asthma inhaler).
Phone and/or Camera
We know that your phone will be permanently glued to your hand anyway, as you make those last frantic ‘farewell, hope you’re jel’ texts while still in the world of 3G connection but if your phone and your camera aren’t one and the same, make sure you have both with you in your hand luggage.
After all, those show-off-the-ship selfies won’t take and upload themselves!
As any parent knows, kids don’t travel light.
You can forget one carry-on, you’ll need an array of totes, backpacks toy transporters and possibly some sort of fork lift truck if you’re cruising with under 5’s.
Make sure you’ve all the essentials on you, including enough nappies, wipes and milk to last a day.
Dummies, blankets and any other naptime paraphernalia will also be good to have to hand, as well as swimwear, arm bands, a change of clothes, their favourite toy and sun protection. Phew!
If there are particular activities, restaurant reservations or kids’ club spaces that you want/need to book, you’d be wise to do it the second you step foot onboard.
You don’t want to risk disappointed kids because there are no character breakfast slots left or a disappointed other half because the most romantic restaurant is fully booked on your wedding anniversary!
Sharpen your elbows, get to the front of the queue at the bookings desk and make sure you have your diary and pen with you to pencil everything in!
A well packed carry-on can make all the difference between getting your cruise off to a great start and having a boring first day waiting around for the announcement that cabins are ready.
So remember, for the best cruising experience from the off, heed the boy scout saying……
No, not Dib Dib Dib, Dob Dob Dob!
Do you always pack a well stocked tote bag? Have we missed anything off the list?
Have you been wondering if you have been packing for your cruise correctly
Let us know in the comments below…